NOTES |Because who doesn't want cute domestic family fluff with Scott, Hope, and Cassie? And a little bit of Maggie and Paxton? Thank you to #1 SCOTTHOPE SHIPPER Jan for giving me this prompt for Halloween 2019, and thank you to my Google Drive for holding onto fics I posted on AO3 last year so that I can repost them here if you didn't get to read them before! This oneshot can be read as a stand-alone, but it can also go with my last Antman Halloween prompt, "i don't know about these heavy hands," so I would recommend reading that one first!
This was so not the plan.
It's one thing to have let Scott talk her into going trick-or-treating with him and Cassie – which, to be fair, she fought against valiantly for a whole afternoon – but this? She doesn't like Halloween even from afar, if she's being honest. Her mom was good at it; her father was decidedly not. Maybe they are slowly mending their relationship now, but they are far from fixed just yet, and she is absolutely too old for him to make up for that now. Which is exactly how Scott managed to coerce her into saying yes: He looked at her seriously and told her he wanted to help make Halloween into a holiday she likes again.
What Hope van Dyne didn't account for was Cassie crossing her arms and saying firmly, "Okay. Yeah, you can come. On one condition," and it feels like she's holding her breath as she waits for the other shoe to drop. And then Cassie says, very decisively, "You have to wear a costume."
"Absolutely not," says Hope on a long-suffering sigh. She has learned that this is a tone she must take on fairly regularly when she is around the both of them together, though it doesn't annoy her like she thought it might. Instead, it almost feels comfortable, which is downright terrifying in its own right. "No costume."
Scott actually wags his finger at her. "Now, now, Hope, you already said yes!" He's grinning broadly, likes this development more than she wants him to.
She tries to protest that it doesn't count – because the condition hadn't even been suggested when she agreed to go – but neither he nor his daughter are listening to her. They're already deep in a semi-hearted discussion about who or what Hope is supposed to dress up as, as if she's agreed to that and as if it's not a conversation she should be a part of.
This doesn't annoy her like she thought it would, either. Like it should. Hope likes to have a say in everything, but she finds that she doesn't mind this so much. She softens there in the kitchen as they brainstorm ideas, resigning herself to this Halloween being different than every other one since her mother disappeared.
The prime costume candidates are Wonder Woman and Rowena Ravenclaw. Scott is firmly pulling for the first option, which he swears has nothing to do with the short skirt; he settled on this as his choice when Hope immediately vetoed one of his earlier suggestions ("How about, like, a sexy Snow White?" he asked cheekily, and she threw a pillow at him while Cassie pretended to choke on her cereal, and that was that). Cassie, meanwhile, has been reading all the Harry Potter books and is adamant that the founder of Ravenclaw is the best possible option.
"Isn't she old? And dead?" asks Scott, frowning at the suggestion. "Why not someone cooler and more recognizable? What about Hermione?"
Cassie rolls her eyes so exaggeratedly that her head moves along with it. "Hermione is so overdone, Daddy," she sighs, like she can't believe he would possibly suggest such a thing. "Rowena Ravenclaw is super cool. And smart. And Hope is smart!"
They go shopping for costumes and still cannot decide; Hope leaves each store empty-handed, while her boyfriend and his daughter begin to build the perfect pieces of their own outfits. Cassie hops onto the couch while Scott is cooking dinner (he's a surprisingly good cook, which she didn't expect but makes at least a little bit of sense because he's constantly catching Hope off-guard like that), holds out her dad's phone with a picture of Princess Leia on the screen, and asks Hope to twist space buns into her hair. "It has to be perfect. Like the picture," she reminds Hope six times before she's finished. She stands and walks slowly to the bathroom when Hope is done, overwhelmingly careful so she does not ruin her hair before she can see it in the mirror over the sink. Screams so it echoes back out into the living room and reappears, smiling toothily, to announce, "It's perfect, just like I wanted! Will you do it again on Halloween?" Hope can only nod, feeling something soft and warm light in her chest at the elated expression on the girl's face.
The guys come over to talk business planning, a new venture Scott and Luis have come up with since particular parts of their histories don't exactly excite most potential employers. Cassie tries to get them all to vote on Hope's costume, dragging Hope to stand in front of them as they eye her critically. "Why don't you just let Hope be the tiebreaker?" asks Dave, leaning back in his chair so the front legs lift slightly off the floor. "Since it's her, and all."
Which is a nice thought, really, but it's not an option, according to Cassie. "Hope doesn't want to dress up at all." She shakes her head emphatically. "You have to vote."
Dave shrugs, gives in because Hope is pretty sure the girl has all of them wrapped right around her little finger. "I vote Ravenclaw, then. Harry Potter's the sh– it's great, I mean," he amends quickly as Scott casts him a warning look.
Kurt deliberates over his answer for far too long, and Hope has a feeling he chooses Wonder Woman simply because he doesn't want to make Scott feel too left out. Both Scott and Cassie turn apprehensively to Luis, who makes a show of stroking his chin and muttering to himself. "I've got it," he says triumphantly, "Lara Croft!"
"What the hell, man," and Scott is throwing his arms up into the air, shaking his head. "You're supposed to vote for one of the existing options!"
Luis shakes his head, too, unapologetic. "Nah, bro. Hope is, like, the perfect Lara Croft." And he refuses entirely to cast a vote, which leaves them at a standstill again.
One week to go until Halloween; Maggie and Paxton come over for dinner. They do this every Sunday, flocking to whichever house Cassie is at, at the time. Hope doesn't think she has ever seen a family rattled by divorce come back together so fluidly, though she doesn't have a lot of experience with broken families. She and her father were too few and too fractured to count in the way she's thinking now. It's almost miraculous, the way that Cassie's three parental figures fit in around each other like puzzle pieces. There were some difficulties in the beginning, when Scott got out of prison, Hope knows – but in the time since the Pym Tech fiasco with Darren, they have been steadily sorting things out. They all cook, separating the meal into three parts so each one of them has something to do, and usher Hope out of their way to sit at the kitchen table where she cannot touch anything (which is probably for the best).
Cassie sits next to her; her feet don't touch the floor, and she swings them energetically underneath her chair. "We need you guys to vote on Hope's costume," she says importantly, and lays out the options. Which are still just Wonder Woman and Rowena Ravenclaw; together, she and her dad have elected not to include Luis' suggestion. "It's really important."
Neither Maggie or Paxton cast a vote, official or not. Instead, they pitch new ideas, half-focused on the meal they're preparing. "Lois Lane?" says Paxton, eying Hope thoughtfully as he dices tomatoes. "Oh, or maybe that one chick from Lost – you know, doesn't she look sort of like her?"
Scott actually scoffs from his position at the stove, sauteing onions. "No way. Kate's the worst," he counters, which doesn't exactly cancel out Paxton's point. "When me and Maggie watched that show, we hated her. Right, Maggie?"
On a shrug, Paxton tilts the cutting board to slide all the tomatoes into a bowl. "I thought she was kind of cool," he comments. Light, airy.
"Maggie," says Scott, very seriously, turning away from the stove to catch her attention, "I say this as your friend, and the first love of your life. Your fiancé is an asshat." He says this occasionally, anytime he and Paxton have a minor disagreement; Hope gets the feeling it started as something he meant, and became a joke later on. Now, the three of them all flash a grin, share a quick little laugh about it, and move on.
The blonde looks from her daughter to Hope, clearly trying to brainstorm more ideas. "What about someone from Star Wars? Maybe Padmé?" she asks, and Hope's immediate gut instinct is, Not a chance. She already feels strange enough about intruding on her boyfriend's first Halloween in years with his daughter, but to plan out matching costumes feels almost cheap.
But, hey, she does like Star Wars.
In the end, they decide against Padmé. This is not because of the Star Wars thing – rather, it's because Cassie starts talking about her own costume and begins spouting off Princess Leia quotes at random. "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?" she asks her father critically, and then it's all "Will someone get this big walking carpet out of my way?" and "Into the garbage chute, fly-boy!" At some point, she recites the speech that plays on the hologram in the first movie. "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope," and then she dissolves into a fit of giggles and elbows Hope repeatedly. "Get it? Get it? You're my only Hope!"
Scott has frozen across the kitchen. "That's it," he says after a long, drawn-out pause. "God, that's it – that's the costume. She's got to be Obi-Wan."
And so, on the last night of October, Hope finds herself shrugging a long brown robe over her shoulders, pulling the hood up and clipping a fake lightsaber to her belt. Scott is stalking around the house with a black cape billowing out behind him, practicing loud breathing despite the fact that the Darth Vader mask he's got sitting by the front door definitely makes sound effects all on its own with a simple press of a button. When Hope comes down, he stops at the foot of the stairs to look her costume over appreciatively.
Boldly, Hope narrows her eyes at him. "It's over, Anakin. I have the higher ground."
His eyes positively light up. "Damn. I think you're my dream woman."
NOTES | Happy Halloween, from past me who wrote this and also from current me! Reviews and favourites make me happy, but I also just hope you have a lovely Halloween and stay safe with COVID-19 and everything happening in the world. Love you all!